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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR data is current as of February 20, 2020

Title 30Chapter VSubchapter BPart 550Subpart B → Subject Group


Title 30: Mineral Resources
PART 550—OIL AND GAS AND SULPHUR OPERATIONS IN THE OUTER CONTINENTAL SHELF
Subpart B—Plans and Information


General Information

§550.200   Definitions.

Acronyms and terms used in this subpart have the following meanings:

(a) Acronyms used frequently in this subpart are listed alphabetically below:

BOEM means Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.

BSEE means Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement.

CID means Conservation Information Document.

CZMA means Coastal Zone Management Act.

DOCD means Development Operations Coordination Document.

DPP means Development and Production Plan.

DWOP means Deepwater Operations Plan.

EIA means Environmental Impact Analysis.

EP means Exploration Plan.

IOP means Integrated Operations Plan.

NPDES means National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System.

NTL means Notice to Lessees and Operators.

OCS means Outer Continental Shelf.

(b) Terms used in this subpart are listed alphabetically below:

Amendment means a change you make to an EP, DPP, or DOCD that is pending before BOEM for a decision (see §§550.232(d) and 550.267(d)).

Modification means a change required by the Regional Supervisor to an EP, DPP, or DOCD (see §550.233(b)(2) and §550.270(b)(2)) that is pending before BOEM for a decision because the OCS plan is inconsistent with applicable requirements.

New or unusual technology means equipment or procedures that:

(1) Have not been used previously or extensively in a BOEM OCS Region;

(2) Have not been used previously under the anticipated operating conditions; or

(3) Have operating characteristics that are outside the performance parameters established by this part.

Non-conventional production or completion technology includes, but is not limited to, floating production systems, tension leg platforms, spars, floating production, storage, and offloading systems, guyed towers, compliant towers, subsea manifolds, and other subsea production components that rely on a remote site or host facility for utility and well control services.

Offshore vehicle means a vehicle that is capable of being driven on ice.

Resubmitted OCS plan means an EP, DPP, or DOCD that contains changes you make to an OCS plan that BOEM has disapproved (see §§550.234(b), 550.272(a), and 550.273(b)).

Revised OCS plan means an EP, DPP, or DOCD that proposes changes to an approved OCS plan, such as those in the location of a well or platform, type of drilling unit, or location of the onshore support base (see §550.283(a)).

Supplemental OCS plan means an EP, DPP, or DOCD that proposes the addition to an approved OCS plan of an activity that requires approval of an application or permit (see §550.283(b)).

[76 FR 64623, Oct. 18, 2011, as amended at 81 FR 46565, July 15, 2016]

§550.201   What plans and information must I submit before I conduct any activities on my lease or unit?

(a) Plans and documents. Before you conduct the activities on your lease or unit listed in the following table, you must submit, and BOEM must approve, the listed plans and documents. Your plans and documents may cover one or more leases or units.

You must submit a(n) . . .Before you . . .
(1) Exploration Plan (EP),Conduct any exploration activities on a lease or unit.
(2) Development and Production Plan (DPP),Conduct any development and production activities on a lease or unit in any OCS area other than the Western Gulf of Mexico.
(3) Development Operations Coordination Document (DOCD),Conduct any development and production activities on a lease or unit in the Western GOM.
(4) BSEE approved Deepwater Operations Plan (DWOP),Conduct post-drilling installation activities in any water depth associated with a development project that will involve the use of a non-conventional production or completion technology.
(5) Conservation Information Document (CID),Commence production from development projects in water depths greater than 1,312 feet (400 meters).
(6) EP, DPP, or DOCD,Conduct geological or geophysical (G&G) exploration or a development G&G activity (see definitions under §550.105) on your lease or unit when:
   (i) It will result in a physical penetration of the seabed greater than 500 feet (152 meters);
   (ii) It will involve the use of explosives;
   (iii) The Regional Director determines that it might have a significant adverse effect on the human, marine, or coastal environment; or
   (iv) The Regional Supervisor, after reviewing a notice under §550.209, determines that an EP, DPP, or DOCD is necessary.

(b) Submitting additional information. On a case-by-case basis, the Regional Supervisor may require you to submit additional information if the Regional Supervisor determines that it is necessary to evaluate your proposed plan or document.

(c) Limiting information. The Regional Director may limit the amount of information or analyses that you otherwise must provide in your proposed plan or document under this subpart when:

(1) Sufficient applicable information or analysis is readily available to BOEM;

(2) Other coastal or marine resources are not present or affected;

(3) Other factors such as technological advances affect information needs; or

(4) Information is not necessary or required for a State to determine consistency with their CZMA Plan.

(d) Referencing. In preparing your proposed plan or document, you may reference information and data discussed in other plans or documents you previously submitted or that are otherwise readily available to BOEM.

§550.202   What criteria must the Exploration Plan (EP), Development and Production Plan (DPP), or Development Operations Coordination Document (DOCD) meet?

Your EP, DPP, or DOCD must demonstrate that you have planned and are prepared to conduct the proposed activities in a manner that:

(a) Conforms to the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act as amended (Act), applicable implementing regulations, lease provisions and stipulations, and other Federal laws;

(b) Is safe;

(c) Conforms to sound conservation practices and protects the rights of the lessor;

(d) Does not unreasonably interfere with other uses of the OCS, including those involved with National security or defense; and

(e) Does not cause undue or serious harm or damage to the human, marine, or coastal environment.

§550.203   Where can wells be located under an EP, DPP, or DOCD?

The Regional Supervisor reviews and approves proposed well location and spacing under an EP, DPP, or DOCD. In deciding whether to approve a proposed well location and spacing, the Regional Supervisor will consider factors including, but not limited to, the following:

(a) Protecting correlative rights;

(b) Protecting Federal royalty interests;

(c) Recovering optimum resources;

(d) Number of wells that can be economically drilled for proper reservoir management;

(e) Location of drilling units and platforms;

(f) Extent and thickness of the reservoir;

(g) Geologic and other reservoir characteristics;

(h) Minimizing environmental risk;

(i) Preventing unreasonable interference with other uses of the OCS; and

(j) Drilling of unnecessary wells.

§550.204   When must I submit my IOP for proposed Arctic exploratory drilling operations and what must the IOP include?

If you propose exploratory drilling activities on the Arctic OCS, you must submit an Integrated Operations Plan (IOP) to the Regional Supervisor at least 90 days prior to filing your EP. Your IOP must describe how your exploratory drilling program will be designed and conducted in an integrated manner that accounts for Arctic OCS conditions and include the following information:

(a) A description of how all vessels and equipment will be designed, built, and/or modified to account for Arctic OCS conditions;

(b) A schedule of your exploratory drilling program, including contractor work on critical components of your program;

(c) A description of your mobilization and demobilization operations, including tow plans that account for Arctic OCS conditions, as well as your general maintenance schedule for vessels and equipment;

(d) A description of your exploratory drilling program objectives and timelines for each objective, including general plans for abandonment of the well(s), such as:

(1) Contingency plans for temporary abandonment in the event of ice encroachment at the drill site;

(2) Plans for permanent abandonment; and

(3) Plans for temporary seasonal abandonment.

(e) A description of your weather and ice forecasting capabilities for all phases of the exploration program, including a description of how you would respond to and manage ice hazards and weather events;

(f) A description of work to be performed by contractors supporting your exploration drilling program (including mobilization and demobilization), including:

(1) How such work will be designed or modified to account for Arctic OCS conditions; and

(2) Your concepts for contractor management, oversight, and risk management.

(g) A description of how you will ensure operational safety while working in Arctic OCS conditions, including but not limited to:

(1) The safety principles that you intend to apply to yourself and your contractors;

(2) The accountability structure within your organization for implementing such principles;

(3) How you will communicate such principles to your employees and contractors; and

(4) How you will determine successful implementation of such principles.

(h) Information regarding your preparations and plans for staging of oil spill response assets;

(i) A description of your efforts to minimize impacts of your exploratory drilling operations on local community infrastructure, including but not limited to housing, energy supplies, and services; and

(j) A description of whether and to what extent your project will rely on local community workforce and spill cleanup response capacity.

[81 FR 46565, July 15, 2016]

§550.205   [Reserved]

§550.206   How do I submit the IOP, EP, DPP, or DOCD?

(a) Number of copies. When you submit an IOP, EP, DPP, or DOCD to BOEM, you must provide:

(1) Four copies that contain all required information (proprietary copies);

(2) Eight copies for public distribution (public information copies) that omit information that you assert is exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) (5 U.S.C. 552) and the implementing regulations (43 CFR part 2); and

(3) Any additional copies that may be necessary to facilitate review of the IOP, EP, DPP, or DOCD by certain affected States and other reviewing entities.

(b) Electronic submission. You may submit part or all of your IOP, EP, DPP, or DOCD and its accompanying information electronically. If you prefer to submit your IOP, EP, DPP, or DOCD electronically, ask the Regional Supervisor for further guidance.

(c) Withdrawal after submission. You may withdraw your proposed IOP, EP, DPP, or DOCD at any time for any reason. Notify the appropriate BOEM OCS Region if you do.

[81 FR 46565, July 15, 2016]

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